“The Duke of Athole's Nurse”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1802/3 (Skene ms.)
Keywords: love abandonment brother disguise cross-dressing escape
Found in: Britain(Scotland(Aber),England(North))


The Duke's (?) new leman bids his nurse (and former leman) bring her love a message. The nurse gathers her (seven) brothers to kill him instead. He asks the tavern's landlady to hide him; she disguises him as a baking maid. The brothers fail to kill him


The opening of this song is a bit confused. Whose love is the new leman? The Duke's? The nurse's former love? Someone else's? It hardly affects the plot, but the pronouns are confusing. - RBW


  1. Child 212, "The Duke of Athole's Nurse" (6 texts)
  2. Bronson 212, "The Duke of Athole's Nurse" (9 versions)
  3. Leach, pp. 566-568, "The Duke of Athole's Nurse" (1 text)
  4. DT 212, DUKATHOL*
  5. Roud #3393
  6. BI, C212